Resume and cover letter - 2
Following the previous post about the rirekisho, today I'm introducing the other document needed when applying for a job, called shokumukeirekisho. Contrary to its "friend", its format is very familiar.
Literally, shokumukeirekisho (職務経歴書) means "work experience history", which is clear enough: it is a resume. The format is free and there are no squares to fill, no need to handwrite.
My shokumukeirekisho is structured in a very standard way, with exactly four sections which I'm going to introduce. I made the images very quickly under gimp so the layout is not very clean (at least it is different from the actual document), but the contents are the same.
Let's start with the header, very brief because most information is already contained in the rirekisho:
Besides the name, note that the date must also be written.
The first section, 職務経歴 (chronology) is also very brief, as it only lists the dates and positions for each company:
The next section, 詳細 (detail), is the heart of the document, giving details for every job or mission. Since the format is free, it made sense for me to simply translate my resume (although it was anything but simple!). I'll use my first experience, back in 2000, as an example:
Next to the dates, it is common usage to write the corresponding duration, so that the recruiter does not need to do the calculation. Next and in order:
- position (職種), "web developer" in this case. The team size is also written
- contents (職務内容) : "online encyclopedia", with the main tasks listed below
- technical environment
As you can see, there is nothing extravagant in the Japanese layout.
The next section is an overview of the skills, grouped by category (languages, web technologies, database etc.):
Here again, no local specificity.
There is one more section and you may have guessed what it is...yes, the cover letter! In Japan, it is not a separate document but part of the shokumukeirekisho:
I won't translate, here is just the broad outline:
- in the first two paragraphs, I list my qualities (fast ability to adapt to different environments, good communication skills etc)
- in the third one, I explain what I can bring to the company and what I would like to do (project management, keep brushing up my technical skills etc)
- the fourth paragraph is particular: since my mother is Japanese, I highlight my good understanding of cultural differences between France and Japan, thereby showing that I am confident that I can work in a 100% Japanese environment. The final sentence is optional, depending on the company, and states that my French and English language skills allow me to deal with international clients
- and a standard closing sentence to conclude